Thursday, January 13, 2011

A very long day

In less than three months, my little girl will turn three years old.

Upon the announcement of our soon-to-be bundle of joy, the experienced mamas in my life dispersed ongoing wishes and words of advice. Many of them said, "Enjoy it - they grow up so quickly!"

No kidding.

Amelia's life may be moving quickly these days, but do you know what didn't? Her birth. The longest hours of my life. As my parents roamed the hospital and sat anxiously in the waiting area, they saw several other families arrive - and leave - while I still had no baby.
The books tell you to have a birth plan. The books tell you to know what you do and don't want on delivery day. For me, thinking ahead turned out to be a waste of time and brain power. I had absolutely no control over that day.

I went to the hospital the night before. We were inducing because of increasing blood pressure and other minor issues. Steve watched the NCAA basketball championship game while I tried to fall asleep, knowing I was to experience a pretty dramatic event the next morning.
(about to check in)

I will spare all the labor and delivery details, but my body did not cooperate with the pitocin drug. Labor took forever. In fact, Amelia wasn't born until 11:57 p.m. that night, about 30 hours after our arrival at the hospital.

Many things happened that day. Ongoing vomiting, fatigue, thirst, and impatience to name a few. But the most frightening part came when I heard these words...

"We're going to call a NICU team in here for delivery."

Apparently, when my water was broken, thick meconium was present in the fluid (meconium, if aspirated by the baby, can cause irritation, infection, or airway blockage). My newborn baby girl was going to be handed to someone else within seconds of her birth. And to top it off, the medical team wanted the tiny head electrode on her throughout labor, to monitor her stress level. (This electrode is one of the things I had a big NO next to on my birth plan... but when it came down to it, I had zero say in the matter. It was for her safety.)

I was devastated. I was probably too tired and nauseous to properly express my concern in words, but my heart sank. And it stayed heavy throughout the day with the "what ifs".

The "pushing" phase of my labor lasted over 2 hours. Amelia was turned a bit sideways, my contractions were not coming in a helpful, timed pattern, and - surprise - Amelia was enormous. When she was finally born, the NICU team scooped her out of the midwife's hands and began to check her out.

"Lungs look clear. She's breathing fine. She looks great!"

Those were the best words I had heard all day. Finally, relief.

Mama's Losin' It 
Prompt #3) A moment you truly felt relieved.
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